Romeu – Reds a more suitable test for Saints
Southampton's Oriol Romeu believes his side will be better suited to facing Liverpool after they crashed and burned on the opening weekend.
The Saints found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat on Saturday, as a 13-minute spell that saw an Ashley Barnes brace and a Johann Berg Gudmundsson strike hand the Clarets the points.
It was hardly an ideal start to the campaign for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, who will have been looking to set the tone for the campaign after a strong finish to last term.
The Hampshire outfit have battled relegation in recent seasons although Hasenhuttl’s arrival last December seemed to change the mindset at the club and they had been tipped to mount a potential push for the European spots.
Signings such as Che Adams, Moussa Djenepo and Kevin Danso have all been tipped to add further youthful exuberance to a squad the boss has tried to put his stamp on by promoting players from the academy.
After Saturday’s frustration at Turf Moor, Liverpool are the visitors to St Mary’s on Saturday and may be fresh from winning silverware, with them set to face Chelsea in Wednesday’s UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul.
The Reds made a winning start to their Premier League season by beating Norwich 4-1 and, with the title race expected to be just as tight as last term, will be loathe to drop points on the south coast.
While undoubtedly a better team than Burnley, Romeu, who celebrated four years with the club on Monday, still feels Southampton will have a better chance of beating Jurgen Klopp’s side.
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The Spaniard’s argument is based on the pair’s styles of play; the Clarets favouring direct tactics to the Merseysiders’ more open attacking methods.
“There will be more chances to score against Liverpool,” he told the Daily Echo. “Burnley didn’t play anything from the back because it was all long balls, which didn’t give us the chance to get higher up the pitch.
“The chances will come against Liverpool because they will take more risks and that will give us more opportunities to score goals. Hopefully, we can put them under pressure.”
Southampton have lost their last four meetings with Liverpool and have failed to score in three of them.
Last season’s fixtures saw Liverpool win 3-0 at Anfield before claiming a 3-1 success at St Mary’s. However, Romeu’s remarks suggest his side are unlikely to hold back on Saturday afternoon against the visitors to SO14.